Toronto – May 11, 2018 – Across the globe, May 17 is recognized annually as the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia – a day to speak out against LGBTQI2S discrimination.
The day brings attention the struggles and discrimination faced by members of the global lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, queer, intersex, and two-spirited communities.
While equality is protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, many members of Canada’s LGBTQI2S community still face discrimination on a daily basis. In 2016, the country’s only publicly funded clinic for gender affirming surgeries was set on fire due to an arsonist – damaging hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of surgical equipment. Additionally, shocking statistics exist which reveal that those who identify outside of binary genders are subjected to higher rates of suicide, unemployment, and limited access to basic health services that are commonly available to all other Canadians.
This year’s theme is Alliances for Solidarity, celebrating the solidarity within the communities of sexual and gender minorities as well as their allies. UFCW Canada is deeply committed to ensuring that the rights of LGBTQI2S communities are respected and amplified, which is why we have partnered with Egale Human Rights Trust and other allies to combat discrimination and create safer workplaces.
As well, UFCW Canada is a proud supporter and participant of Pride Parades across the country and in events such as Out at Night, which raises funds and awareness to help homeless LGBTQI2S youth in Canada.
This May 17 let us recommit to creating safe spaces where everyone welcomed and fully embraced. Let us grow our values and forge new alliances in the spirit of solidarity as we work towards a world where people of all sexual orientations and identities are welcomed, loved, and empowered.
Learn more about UFCW Canada’s ground-breaking work within the LGBTQI2S communities, including resources to help members initiate a Local Union Pride Committee or Pride Chapter by visiting www.ufcw.ca/pride.
Paul R. Meinema